• Efficient alternative food systems for earth and space

      Alvarado, Kyle A.; Denkenberger, David; Schiewer, Silke; Karlsson, Meriam (2020-12)
      Alternative foods are a source of human-edible calories derived from an unconventional source or process. This thesis includes two alternative foods: (i) crops grown under low-tech greenhouses in low sunlight environments and (ii) hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria (HOB) in space and Earth refuges, such as to repopulate the Earth. The purpose of alternative foods is to ensure food security for human survival. During a global catastrophic risk (GCR) scenario, such as nuclear winter or super volcanic eruption, the sun may be obscured, causing lack of crop production and therefore global food shortages. The purpose of this thesis was to improve the cost and energy use of producing food during a GCR by avoiding the need to use artificial light photosynthesis. As a solution, a low-tech greenhouse scaling method was designed that could feed the Earth as quickly and cost-effectively as possible during a GCR, such as nuclear winter. Using concepts derived for scaling HOB single cell protein (SCP), a cost analysis was conducted for space that relates to Earth refuges. The cost of HOB was compared to that of microalgae SCP and of dry prepackaged food in a closed-loop system. Low-tech greenhouses were designed with basic materials to continue the production of non-cold tolerant crops at low cost; cold tolerant crops would be able to grow outside of greenhouses where it does not freeze. Scaling of low-tech greenhouses, which would add a cost to food of $2.30 /kg dry, is currently one of the most effective alternative foods for Earth. HOB is an effective method of converting electrical energy into food, having an electricity to biomass energy conversion efficiency of 18% versus 4.0% for artificial light (vertical farming) of microalgae (other crops would be even less efficient).
    • Performance of Fifty-Eight Tomato Varieties Under Greenhouse Culture in Alaska, 1949-1958

      Babb, M. F. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1959-11)
      Tomato variety evaluations herein reported were undertaken to discover those most suitable for greenhouse culture in Alaska. Findings are presented in table 1. They are listed as total yields, and yields of U.S.No.l grade fruits per plant. Because the individual plant yields are greatly influenced by spacing, yields per square foot of greenhouse area are also reported. Yields per square foot can be compared with results of similar tests made elsewhere. They provide a standard by which potential growers may predict yields that might be grown in their own greenhouses.
    • Tomatoes: Varieties and Culture for Alaska Greenhouses

      Dinkel, D. H. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1966-03)
      Since 1949 considerable effort has been expended in finding tomato varieties satisfactory for summer production under glass in Alaska. At the same time needed cultural practices were developed from experience. These studies were focused chiefly on the demands of small , home-operated greenhouses, of which a great number have from time-to-time existed in the State. In late 1965 a large commercial greenhouse, planned for year-round production, started operations in the Kenai Peninsula. Little or no experience has accumulated in Alaska about winter production of fruit in such a structure. Information on adapted summer varieties may or may not prove helpful.